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Culture at Schwab: Creating Positivity with Chris W.

Ever wonder how we keep the motivational vibes flowing at Schwab? Enter Chris W., a Specialist in Advisor Services. He's not just showing up to do important work; he's also our go-to guru for uplifting quotes that light up our teams chats and help employees find encouragement and inspiration.

Chris's journey here is as unique as his daily motivational words. From serving in the Navy to a career in social services and then navigating his way to Schwab, he’s brought a wealth of experiences – and a whole lot of heart – to our ‘Schwamily’. Let's dive into Chris's story, where we explore his life story, career trajectory, and how his actions contribute to our positive, welcoming work atmosphere.

"Your history is not your destiny. Things can change, but you have to commit to changing them. #WisdomWednesday #MakeTheGoldenDecisions"

These wise words were posted to Schwab’s Diversity & Inclusion communications channel by an equally wise man. Chris W. is not only speaking the truth to his peers - he’s also speaking his truth.

Chris grew up in a family that struggled. He experienced bouts of homelessness from middle school to college and had to live one day at a time to make it through. But he persevered and was determined to change his future.

“I’m here because I have a greater purpose,” explains Chris. “And I knew I was only going to get to that greater purpose by not giving up on myself.”

After graduating college, Chris served in the U.S. Navy, where he says he learned the value of sacrifice for the greater good. After his time in the military, he started a career in social services. He was passionate about the work, but was feeling emotionally and physically burnt out after three years of 80-hour work weeks.

“Someone asked me ‘What do you like to do in your free time?’” explains Chris. “And I didn’t know how to answer. I didn’t have any free time. It all went to the work and the people and the communities. I realized I’m 30 and I haven’t done anything for myself since I was 26.”

For the sake of his wellbeing, Chris decided to make a career change. He had a budding passion for financial services and financial literacy, so he jumped at an opportunity to join Schwab as a Relationship Manager in February of 2022.

The biggest dream killer is the fear of failure. Don’t be afraid to fail, it’s actually success if you learn from it. Push through your fear and take the risk. #WisdomTuesday

“There were days I completely questioned my career change,” says Chris. “You hold yourself to a certain standard, and moving from a field where I was established to a field where I didn’t know anything was really hard.”

It was on the days that he struggled that Chris would look for bits of motivation. He started posting motivational quotes and thoughts on Schwab's Diversity & Inclusion communications channel as a way to have something to go back to and to reassure himself that he was going to figure it out. The posts began speaking to others too.

“I realized I was starting to help other people at the same time,” explains Chris. “And when I saw that, it started to resonate with me even more.”

Chris has developed quite the following with his daily posts as evidenced by the responses he gets from other peers:

“I needed that today, thank you!”

“This is going on my office wall and to my entire team, thank you!!”

“Gratitude Friday: Chris, I’m thankful for your daily reminders to live a full meaningful life – you make my day great!”

He recalls one individual who reached out to him directly in response to a post about not getting caught up in the eye of the storm. She was struggling with the stress of work, and he told her, “Everyone in this building is here because they’re supposed to be here. You were chosen and you are equipped to handle what you are supposed to handle.”

She told him that he likely prevented her from making the mistake of turning in her resignation letter that day.

"Bad days are going to happen! Long as you get back up every single time and refocus and remind yourself that you absolutely got this, you are UNTOUCHABLE. #MotivationThursday"

Chris is feeling more confident in his new career, where he has progressed up the ladder and is experiencing well-deserved success. He’s taken much of his own advice, and he says he’s learned a lot and has built a lot of good connections and networks. He still posts daily motivations to inspire himself and others, and to continue on his quest to keep growing and learning. In his own words:

"Remember, success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently. #MotivationMonday"